The Speaker‘s area of responsibility from a geographical perspective is limited to the geographical area of the Municipality. Due to the municipality‘s involvement in co-operative governance the influence of the Speaker would also extend to the activities of a speaker‘s forum and other provincial bodies.
As regards the functional area the Speaker possesses all the powers attached by law to the office as well as those powers that has been delegated to him/her or is derived from the common law.
The powers and functions of the Speaker are twofold, i.e. Chairperson of the Council and Enforcer of the Code of Conduct.
The Municipal Council has also appointed the office of the Speaker as the appeal authority in terms of the PAIA.
The Speaker decides when and where the council meets. The only limitation of the Speaker‘s power in this regard is
The power to convene a meeting of the council is not limited to the giving of notice of the time, date and venue of meetings. The Speaker‘s has the incidental power to determine the business to be transacted at meetings and the format in which it is to be presented.
The Speaker is ultimately responsible for the proper compilation of the agenda, which includes quality, jurisdictional and compliance control. To this end the Speaker has the last say in what may be included in the agenda.
The Speaker presides at meetings of the Municipal Council72 and must
The Speaker must ensure that the Rules of Order serves the needs of the day and must initiate amendments where necessary. It is also for that reason that Council has appointed the Speaker as Chairperson of the Rules Committee.
The Speaker has the express authority to ensure compliance in the council and council committees with the Code of Conduct.73
Council has also authorised the Speaker
In terms of item 13 of the Code of Conduct for Councillors the Speaker must, if of the opinion that a councillor has breached a provision of this Code –
(a) Authorise an investigation of the facts and circumstances of the alleged breach;
(b) Give the councillor a reasonable opportunity to reply in writing regarding the alleged breach;
(c) Report the matter thereafter to a meeting of the municipal council ; and
(d) Report the outcome of the investigation to the MEC for local government in the province concerned.
The Speaker must ensure that each councillor when taking office is given a copy of the Code and that a copy of the Code is available in every room or place where the council meets.
The Speaker is appointed as the “relevant authority‟ to hear appeals in terms of the PAIA.
The Speaker may also exercise the powers delegated to him/her by the municipal council in terms of section 59 of the Systems Act.